Information Technology Schools in Atlanta

The demand for technically skilled workers is growing rapidly. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, Information Technology is the fastest growing industry with a 68% increase, in output growth rate, projected between 2002 and 2012.

Finding an Information Technology School or university can be an overwhelming task with so much on offer.
For a qualification to have any value, it needs to be obtained from a properly accredited and state licensed Technical School or College. Once the credentials are in place, other factors such as technical courses on offer, financial aid, flexibility of courses and other unique features can become qualifying factors.

This article will look at the unique and flexible features of some of the schools in Atlanta, offering Information Technology courses.

Brown Mackie College has a unique feature in offering one month courses where the focus is on one subject per month. This allows for very flexible study time to be integrated with a job or other time demand factors. There is no need to wait for "fall" enrollment as courses continue each month. This Information Technology School is located within minutes from downtown Atlanta. A shuttle bus from the train station takes students to the campus. Technical programs focus primarily on Computer Technology with courses in Information Technology, Database Technology, Networking and Software Technology.

De Very University comes highly recommended and offers a variety of technical courses in their College of Engineering and Information Science as well as the College of Media Arts and Technology. The university is unique in allowing students to take courses at any of the other Atlanta campuses. Students are further allowed to do part of their studies online. More than 85% of De Vry students receive financial aid in one or other form. A 90% career success rate and a dedicated career service team ensure that students at this school will get the help they need to become successful in the demanding job market.

At Westwood College working professionals, in their specific technical fields, are employed as instructors. The aim is to not only tutor but for students to get hands on technical experience while learning. Classes can be taken during the day, evening or online. A unique and valuable feature of this college is their alumni tuition program. To keep up to date with the rapidly changing world of technology they offer free courses to their alumni students. Definitely something to consider for years to come.

The Art Institute of Atlanta is a Technical School that uniquely caters for the creatively inclined. Media Arts focus on the artistic side of Computer Technology. Film making, Animation, Game and Web Design are only a few of the courses they have to offer. This school makes it possible for those students that can not study full time to achieve their goals by enrolling in an evening or weekend program.

All these schools have unique and versatile features to cater for the needs of all prospective students and the growing Information Technology market.

Best Internet Security

Internet security is a complex subject, too complex for a brief article like this. So here I'm sticking to a few of the most important basics. If like so many Internet users, you are clueless about what is the best Internet security and how to get it, hopefully this article will help.

Firewalls

First on your list of defenses should be a good firewall. Your firewall will prevent unauthorized access to your computer from any external source, and the settings can be varied from low security to high. Another thing the firewall does is generate a log file capturing connection details, such as those of the systems which are trying to gain access to your computer, as well as record the data that is being sent out by you. Windows XP / Visa provides a firewall by default. Alternately, you can download a number of very good free firewalls like Comodo and ZoneAlarm.

Antivirus Software

Next, you need a good antivirus program. A virus is nothing but a malicious computer program written to muck up the workings of your computer by corrupting your hard disc and data files. Viruses come in many guises. One of the most common is the Trojan horse. Like its Homeric predecessor, Trojan horses are seemingly-benign invaders – they enter your system disguised as something other than what they are and then destroy or steal your personal information without your being aware of what's happening. Then there are the worms. Worms are malicious programs which replicate themselves and spread to your entire computer network, often resulting in its total breakdown.

One of the best Internet security precautions you can take against viruses is to swear an oat to never open an email attachment unless you're positive it's safe (eg, from someone you trust). Beyond that, you need antivirus software. Some cost money, such as those supplied by Norton and McAfee. Others are free, like some of the programs offered for free download by Avast and AVG.

Anti-Adware and Anti-Spyware

Adware is software that causes those annoying and distracting pop-ups. Spyware is a little different. It grabs info off your computer and passes it onto its remote master. Both adware and spyware can ride piggyback on the free software you download, then latch onto your system files and corrupt them. These types of "malware" are nearly asothersome as a virus, though they seldom do direct harm to your system. Your best defense against adware is anti-adware, such as AdAware. But more importantly is protecting your system against spyware, and to accomplish this, try ZoneAlarm Spyware. Needless to say, Norton and McCafee also supply anti-spyware.

Secure Web Browsing

For a more secure web browsing experience, it's a good idea to disable third party cookies that let the advertisers keep track of your system (in IE, click on Tools, then Internet Options, then Privacy).

Another simple yet effective methodology is to enable "warning text boxes" that will alert you if you are entering an unsecured connection (in IE, click on Tools, then Internet Options, then Security, then Custom Level). A couple useful add-ons to keep in mind are Ad- block, which prompts pop-ups, and no script, which protects you from XSS attacks by allowing scripts to run only from the sites that are trusted by you.

The IE 1.7 browser comes with an extended validation certificate (EVC) that allows you to see SSL certificates of companies you are thinking of doing business with. This serves to enhance e-commerce security as a Web vendor has to undergo a certain amount of vetting to obtain their SSL certificate. This extension validation of the vendor website at least provides some assurance that you are interacting with an authentic website and not a malware or a phishing website with fraudulent encrypted certificates. Incidentally, Firefox 3 and Google Chrome also come with EV certificates. So for safer browsing and assurance of best Internet security always shop using an EVC browser.

Silver Wedding Rings

The Meaning of the Silver Wedding Ring

Silver wedding bands are really popular in the world we live in today. Along with gold and white gold, silver tops the list of most popular precious metals used to make wedding rings all across the globe. But, where did the wedding ring originate? And what is the meaning behind this precious metal that holds the key to so many hearts? By tradition, the brides ring was silver while, and the grooms’ would be gold. But, today almost any type of metal may be used for the wedding ring of both the groom and the bride. Silver wedding bands are traditionally placed on the left hand and on the ring finger. The reason for this placement on the hand goes back many years as far as medieval times.

The wedding band is placed on the ring finger because of the belief that a vein in that finger runs directly to the heart, making the wedding ring a symbol of love and commitment. The silver wedding ring symbolizes eternal love between two people, it is considered to be one of the most romantic of precious metals, and is often combined with diamonds. These beautiful rings make the perfect gift for anniversary, engagement, and of course, make the perfect wedding bands.

Silver Wedding Rings and Where to Buy Them

Every fine jewelry store across the nation and beyond sells high quality silver wedding bands. They can be bought online, but it is a good idea to go to a jeweler and have the ring sized perfectly for your finger, although if you are sure about your ring size ordering ready made rings too are a good choice. There are many to choose from. Wedding bands come in all different styles and can be great for men or women, because the variety of styles can be either masculine or feminine. Nowadays, a lot of people prefer the look of silver with diamonds, which makes for a very sophisticated and glamorous look. Although they are somewhat expensive, silver wedding rings are a great choice when choosing the right wedding ring for you.

A few of the styles that are popular with silver rings are the original wedding bands, Celtic silver wedding bands, and braided bands, just to name a few. Some people like the look of the classic wedding band – it is simple, clean, and relatively lower in price than those containing white gold or diamonds. But some times, it is the precious stones combined with the silver wedding band that really completes the look.

Silver wedding ring is all a choice of taste; in some cases, people even have them engraved with special names or words. And a lot of jewelers will allow you to have your rings engraved for no extra charge. You should always choose a ring that reflects your personal style and has a comfortable fit. You should accept nothing but one that you absolutely love because in most cases you will be wearing it for a considerable long time. Remember that silver is a precious metal and it can be costly depending on the ring, but mostly they are reasonably priced, and there are hundreds of ready made rings to choose from. But no matter the cost the silver wedding ring is a symbol love, and should be cherished.

How Organizational Structures Affect Projects and Project Management

It is true that the structure of an organization can have a major impact on project management.

Think about your own experience. Is it difficult to get a traction on your projects? Are there numerous layers of authority that you have to navigate to get approvals for basic tasks? Does your budget get cut because of competition for limited funding? Do your projects lose out in favor of day-to-day routine operations? And you thought it was something you were doing, or failing to do! Well it may have been, but it's more likely that you are feeling the effects of the organizational structure within which you work. Understanding your working environment better will help you to rise above organizational issues and smooth the way to successful project management.

By looking at three different organizational structures – functional, matrix and projectised – we will discover how each distinct organizational style affects project management.

  1. Functional Organizational Structure . These firms are organized into functional divisions based on primary functions such as engineering, human resources, finance, IT, planning and policy. Each different functional division operates independently and isolated groups of workers in a division report to a functional manager. The functional manager generally both allocates and monitors the work and carries out tasks such as performance evaluation and setting payment levels. In this model project managers have very limited authority. Functional organizations are set up for ongoing operations rather than projects and so this organizational structure is often found in firms which primary purpose is to produce standardized goods and services.
  2. Matrix Organizational Structure. In a matrix organization control is shared. The project manager shares responsibility for the project with a number of individual functional managers. Shared responsibilities can include assigning priorities and tasks to individual team members. But functional managers still make the final decisions on who will work on projects and are still responsible for administration. Project managers take charge of allocating and organizing the work for the designated project team. In this type of structure there is a balance between ongoing operations and projects, so it is a common structure for organizations that have these dual roles. For instance, local body organizations that are responsible for both maintaining existing infrastructure (ongoing operations) and commissioning the construction of new infrastructure (projects) often have matrix structures.
  3. Projected Organizational Structure. In a projectised organization the project manager has full authority over the project. This includes the authority to set priorities, apply resources, and to direct the work of the project team. All members of the team report directly to the project manager and everyone is assigned to a project. After completion of the project, resources will be re-assigned to another project. This type of structure is common in firms that work on size-able, long-term projects, such as in the construction industry.

Take a moment to reflect on which type of organizational structure you work in before we move on to discuss how these organizational structures affect projects. Then see if you recognize any of the issues raised.

So what are the implications for project management?

In a functional organization, projects that exist within a single functional division generate no particular organizational issues, but projects that cut across functional divisions can be challenging to manage. Why? Because the project manager has no direct functional authority and must obtain continuous cooperation and support from functional managers of other divisions in order to meet project objectives. This can get complicated.

Because the matrix structure gives authority to both project managers and functional managers the income is to provide a more seamless division of labor and extremely to build a stronger team culture. However, the potential for conflict between functional managers and project managers still exists because there is still resource conflict. Everyone who is on a project team has two bosses – their functional manager as well as their project manager.

In a projectised organization authority is centralized. Because projects are removed from functional divisions the lines of communication are shortened. Both these factors enhance the ability to make swift decisions. Project teams develop a strong sense of identity which in turn creates a high level of commitment from team members. Due to their involvement in consecutive projects of a similar nature projectised organizations can develop and maintain a long-term body of experience and skills in specialized areas.

It is clear that projectised organizations make it easier to run projects because the entire structure is set up for that purpose. But if you are managing a project within other organizational structures, then recognizing and understanding the impacts will raise your awareness of the potential project management pitfalls, so that you can be proactive about resolving them. Communication, conflict resolution and team building will be key to your success.